When people talk of marriage, the word partnership oftentimes comes up. Before I was married, partnership wasn’t a prevalent label I’d have given to marriage. Soul mate, romantic lover, best friend, these were my labels. Yet after I married I realized how much of a partner my spouse really is. “A person who takes part in an undertaking with another with shared risks and profits.” Marriage is a life undertaking where there are shared risks and profits. Risks of being vulnerable, of sinning against that person, of instability and life events beyond your control. Profits of shared dreams and goals, of living with someone who knows your faults and weaknesses and still accepts you, of shared adventure and laughter and love. The profits far outweigh the risks, I would hope. But marriage is hard, if you haven’t heard already. It’s day in and day out choosing to love someone who isn’t always worthy. It’s learning how to communicate, forgive, bear with, grow with, dwell with, and love despite. Partners are fellow workers and teammates that can share the load and lean on the stronger one at times. This has become so very apparent when I get sick. Now that I have a toddler to take care of who’s constantly on the go, I’m not just responsible for myself anymore. So when a bad case of stomach bug hit me (after hitting my son), it was my husband who saved the day, stepped in, and became my partner. He took over all household chores and duties, kept my son fed and clean and entertained while I weakly recovered in bed. I was especially grateful when he grocery shopped, cooked, and took my son out of the house for some peace and quiet. It was like having a nanny and housekeeper all wrapped in one. Except he isn’t just a nanny and housekeeper, he’s my husband. Sometimes I feel like I treat him so, and as I was thanking him for his help, he simply said, “of course I take care of him, he’s my son.” I realized he had just as much equal responsibility for caring for our son as I did, even when he didn’t always do the traditional mom roles.
- When have you treated your spouse like a housekeeper, or nanny, or chauffeur, instead of as a life partner?
- When have you last thanked your spouse for their help around the house or with the kids?